Letters to the Editor

Why point out public school location on Hilton Head?

Referring to your recent article on school security:

Having recently moved here from the very sensitive state of Connecticut, and for good reason, I find it a bit odd that there is a sign on William Hilton Parkway pointing to the Hilton Head School Complex. After all, who really needs to know where our schools are located other than students, staff and family? Why advertise to the perhaps unstable person driving by?

Gary Jansen

Hilton Head Island

The real issue of a government shutdown

Political and media hysteria over a pending “government shutdown” would be entertaining if not for the political dysfunction it illustrates.

The standoff between President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders has little to do with fiscal responsibility or policy and everything to do with positioning for the 2020 election. At question is $3.652 billion in border security appropriations, more than $20 billion less than the president had proposed and Democratic leaders had previously conceded. Fiscally, $3.652 billion equates to approximately 30 percent of one day’s federal spending in 2019.

Despite media handwringing over the specter of a “government shutdown” if this issue can’t be resolved by Dec. 21, the effect will be less cataclysmic.

First, 75 percent of the discretionary federal budget has already been appropriated. Second, of the 750,000 employees who work for the nine departments not already funded, 400,000 are designated essential and will work regardless. Third, federal offices are ghost towns over the holiday season, appropriation or not. More than likely, only a fraction of potentially furloughed personnel had planned to work in the next two weeks at any rate.

This is a symbolic crisis precipitated by politicians fixated on scoring political points. The media provides an uncritical megaphone that stokes their partisan intransigence.

The immediate issue and its consequences are trivial from an operational and fiscal perspective. However, the refusal of either party to resolve it and get on to more important questions testifies to the crippling prioritization of electoral politics over responsible governance.

Chris Christon

Hilton Head Island

We need new Beaufort County school board

Parents and students in the Beaufort County School District need better quality board members. When newly-elected board members are installed in January, hopefully we will be headed in the right direction.

After reading your story in Saturday’s paper, “School shuts down after state designates it among the worst,” I was astonished by outgoing board member Evva Anderson’s remarks. She said that Islands Academy, which was deemed the worst middle school in the state, was “very successful in helping kids catch up.” She also said that she was very surprised at the closing.

Is her head buried in the Lowcountry sand? According to the State Department of Education, for the 2017-2018 school year, not a single Islands Academy middle school student passed a statewide test in math or social studies. Only one student passed a reading and science test. I am glad to know that Evva Anderson will no longer be a “guiding light” for our children’s education.

Parents, you must be involved in your children’s education. They are the future of this great country. Hold the Beaufort County school board’s feet to the fire.

Howard D. Sassman

Bluffton

New ditch on Lady’s Island needed thought

I just re-visited my (paid) 2018 Beaufort County tax bill. Yep, there’s an $87 stormwater fee. By golly, I got my money’s worth yesterday.

Half a dozen nice, well-spoken Beaufort County employees showed up: high-dollar track-hoe, big league dump truck, and a transit backhoe I never saw ‘em use. They proceeded to dig a trench to nowhere across the sodded, well-maintained area between my property and the roadway. I’m left with an ugly, root-filled ditch in which to breed mosquitoes, no telephone connection, and a broken irrigation line.

I can’t complain too much, I guess. I’m a strong believer in private property, and the ditch is actually on county right of way. I just wish we could put more thoughtful engineering and less brute force into such projects.

Sid Hatcher

Lady’s Island

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